Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness as Temperatures Rise Statewide

AIO Heat Stress 2018 (WordPress blog)

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Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness and to encourage their workers to take preventative cool-down breaks in the shade as temperatures rise throughout California. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for forecasts of triple-digit temperatures through the weekend, starting Thursday, June 21st, in Southern California and beginning Friday in central and northern counties. Summer has officially begun.

“During heat waves, employers must closely observe their employees for signs and symptoms of heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “As always, workers should be encouraged to drink water frequently and take preventative cool-down rest breaks in the shade when they feel the need to do so.”

To help employers comply with the state’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulation, All In One Poster Company has designed a comprehensive poster to supplement the Cal/OSHA standard training requirement and the employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), and to serve as a quick reference guide. Remember that displaying posters is a sign of your commitment to safety.

CAHeatStress2015

This poster contains the following information:

  • Steps to Preventing Heat Stress according to Cal/OSHA
  • Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
  • Symptoms of Heat Stroke
  • What to do for Heat-Related Illness

California’s heat illness prevention regulation requires employers with outdoor workers to take the following four steps to prevent heat illness:

  • Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
  • Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  • Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Shade – Provide shade when workers request it and when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

Cal/OSHA urges workers experiencing possible overheating to take a preventative cool-down rest in the shade until symptoms are gone. Workers who have existing health problems or medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat, such as diabetes, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a worker’s risk for heat illness.

In addition to the other requirements outlined in California’s heat illness prevention regulation, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker does get sick. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.

Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention special emphasis program, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California’s employers and workers. Online information on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the Water. Rest. Shade. campaign site. A Heat Illness Prevention e-tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

For indoor workers in California, All In One Posters has also put together a California Indoor Heat Stress Poster seen below. This poster was created in response to a bill that was signed by Governor Brown in which section 6720 was added to SB 1167 to add protection for indoor workers against indoor heat.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

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Proposed OSHA Rule for California Indoor Heat Illness Protection due January 1, 2019

On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA Standards Board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present.

In November 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this requirement. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action. Our easy-to-read, laminated poster is designed to supplement the mandatory training that will be required by the Cal/OSHA standard. It can also be used as a quick reference guide in preventing heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death.

Our California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments Poster is available in both English and Spanish, and measures 24″ x 39″.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

Cal/OSHA Urges Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Record-Breaking Heat Wave

CA Heat IllnessFresno—California heat of the past several years has shattered temperature records going back more than 100 years. With this year’s heat season approaching, Cal/OSHA hosted a news conference today to remind employers that prevention is the best defense for outdoor workers against heat-related illness and death.

A key component to Cal/OSHA’s prevention model includes annual trainings statewide in both English and Spanish. Two bilingual trainings, co-sponsored by the Nisei Farmers League and 11 other agricultural employers, were held today in Easton. The trainings highlight the need to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and the requirements under California’s heat illness standard.

“Employers at outdoor worksites must know the steps to take to prevent heat illness injuries on the job,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cal/OSHA continues to focus on training and outreach, combined with enforcement targeting those employers who put their workers’ safety at risk.”

The risk of heat illness is generally highest for people who work outdoors. Therefore, Cal/OSHA’s approach to prevention includes inspections at outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, landscaping and construction during heat season. These targeted inspections check for compliance with the heat illness prevention standard and the injury and illness prevention standard, which require employers to take the following basic precautions:

  1. Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  2. Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  3. Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool‐down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. Shade structures must be in place when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or upon request.
  4. Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. Lighter work, frequent breaks or shorter hours will help employees who have not been working in high temperatures adapt to the new conditions.
  5. Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard, including plans on how to handle medical emergencies and steps to take if someone shows signs or symptoms of heat illness.

The most frequent violation that Cal/OSHA cites during targeted heat inspections is for failure to have a proper written heat illness prevention plan specific to the worksite.  Serious violations are often related to inadequate access to water and shade, and to a lack of supervisor and employee training.

To remain in compliance with the standard, Cal/OSHA encourages employers and worker supervisors to learn more about the standard, which was updated in 2015. Please refer to the Cal/OSHA guidance on the new requirements and the Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement Q&A for more information on the updates.

All In One Poster Company has updated its California Heat Illness Prevention Poster with the most recent revisions in 2015. This poster is available in both English and Spanish. Aside from this, All In One Posters has also developed the California Indoor Heat Stress Poster which addresses heat illness prevention for indoor work environments. Displaying safety posters signify a commitment to safety and compliance.

 

Cal/OSHA Updates Construction Pocket Safety Guide to Promote Safety and Compliance in the Industry

Oakland—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and Cal/OSHA are pleased to announce the latest release of the free “Pocket Guide for the Construction Industry.” This publication allows workers, employers and supervisors to quickly reference key safety requirements detailed in clear, concise terms.

“This guide is our most requested Cal/OSHA publication,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “It is indexed to help employers and employees easily find the latest safety requirements on many topics related to construction, such as airborne contaminants, blasting, fall protection, heavy equipment, and multi-employer worksites.”

Included in the new edition are regulatory updates in subjects that include (but are not limited to):

Cal/OSHA Wins First Ever Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat

The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s 2012 citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.

The IIPP is a basic written program that every employer must develop to comply with occupational safety and health standards and effectively train employees in recognizing hazards.

“California is the only state with an outdoor Heat Illness Prevention standard,” said Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA. “Now all workers, including those who work indoors like warehouse workers, are protected from the hazard of heat.”

The case stemmed from the January 2012 serious citations Cal/OSHA issued to Tri-State Staffing (TSI), a temporary staffing agency, and warehouse operator National Distribution Center (NDC) for the heat illness suffered by an employee in August 2011. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.

It was during this time that 49-year-old Domingo Blancas, a TSI employee hired to work in an NDC-operated warehouse, suffered heat illness while working inside a metal freight container with a temperature over 100 degrees. He reported his illness to his temp agency supervisor, who arranged for him to be transported to a local clinic by another employee who had also reported heat illness that day. The doctor at the clinic questioned if Blancas might be suffering from dehydration and referred him to the Emergency Room, but Blancas did not go to the ER and the next day he was hospitalized for three days due to heat stroke.

Both TSI and NDC were penalized $18,000 for failing to implement an effective IIPP. Both companies appealed the citations to an administrative law judge (ALJ). In March 2015. the ALJ issued its decision in favor of TSI and NDC, dismissing their citations. Cal/OSHA appealed that decision to the Appeals Board, stating the ALJ should have affirmed the citations because the employers had failed to effectively correct the hazard of indoor heat exposure, and had not trained employees on the hazard of indoor heat exposure and heat illness. The three-panel board agreed with Cal/OSHA and overturned the ALJ’s decision.

This unprecedented decision also reinforces the fact that all employers have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with all Cal/OSHA standards, not just the employer in charge of the worksite, according to the agency.

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory for Sacramento Valley, Northern California as Temperatures Rise

Oakland—Cal/OSHA is urging all employers, particularly those in the Sacramento Valley and adjacent foothills, to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for these areas, where temperatures are expected to rise to highs of 115 degrees through Friday morning. Heat warnings are issued when weather conditions pose a threat to life.

“We want to ensure that the rules in place are followed to protect outdoor workers during

soaring temperatures,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, is a division of DIR.

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

“Heat illness can be life threatening,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “That’s why employers are required to make sure outdoor workers have enough shade, water and rest, even if they don’t see visible symptoms of sickness.”

When temperatures reach 95 degrees, as predicted in Northern California, special “high heat” procedures are also required. These procedures include:

  • Observing workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Providing close supervision of workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure acclimatization.
  • Having effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency assistance if necessary.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season. Through partnerships with various employer and worker organizations in different industries, Cal/OSHA will also provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Cal/OSHA’s award-winning heat illness prevention campaign, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as outreach and training for California’s employers and workers.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), or the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 866-924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.